Posts tagged ‘energy’

March 9, 2012

House Passes Oil Shale Bill

The House passed H.R. 3408, a bill which directs the Secretary of the Interior to proceed with the sale of mineral leases on federal land for oil shale, and also directs the Secretary to deem the environmental and energy regulations as of November 2008 as the controlling regulations in the exploration and exploitation of oil shale, notwithstanding any later regulations made.

The measure was passed by a vote of 237 – 187, with 21 Republicans voting against the bill, and 21 Democrats voting for the bill.

March 9, 2012

Senate Rejects Keystone Pipeline Approval Amendment

The Senate rejected Amendment 1537 to S. 1813, the Federal Transportation Act, a measure that would override executive orders to stop the building of the Keystone XL Pipeline from Canada. Even though the vote tally was 56-42, it did not pass the 3/5 majority requirement in the face of a Democrat filibuster.

Eleven Democrats joined all Republicans in support of the amendment – Baucus (D-MT), Begich (D-AK), Casey (D-PA), Conrad (D-ND), Hagan (D-NC), Landrieu (D-LA), Manchin (D-WV), McCaskill (D-MO), Pryor (D-AR), Tester (D-MT), Webb (D-VA).

March 9, 2012

Senate Rejects Keystone Pipeline Restrictions Amendment

The Senate, by a vote of 33-65, rejected Senate Amendment 1817, which provides for the implementation of the Keystone XL Pipeline from Canada, providing that the oil transported is not subsequently exported, and that all materials in the construction are made in the US. This was seen as a ploy by unions to force union labor in the construction, therefore all 33 votes for the amendment were by Democrats beholden to union interests.

January 19, 2012

House Passes Payroll Tax Cut Extension

The House Passed HR 3630, the Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act of 2011 on December 17, 2011. The measure provides for the continuation of the 2% payroll tax cut for both self-employed and employees, extends the funding for Unemployment Compensation until March 1, 2012, extends Medicare payments to doctors until March 1, 2012, imposes increased fees for home buyers under Fannie Mae, and gives the President 60 days to make a determination of the permit for the XL Keystone Pipeline from Canada. The CBO estimates the total bill will add $166.8 billion to the national debt for the 2012 fiscal year.

Ten Democrats supported 224 Republicans for the measure, while 14 Republicans opposed the bill on grounds of excessive spending. The final tally was 234 – 193.


January 19, 2012

House Passes Power Plant Regulation Revision

The House passed HR 2250 on October 13, 2011. The EPA Regulatory Relief Act of 2011 orders the EPA to reconsider and revise regulations it is placing on power generation plants that according to one of the bill’s sponsors, Rep. Whitfield (KY-1), will cost the energy industry $14 billion and 230,000 lost jobs.

Forty-one Democrats joined all Republicans in support of the measure, for a vote of 275 – 142.

October 15, 2011

North American-Made Energy Security Act passes House

H.R. 1938, the North American-Made Energy Security Act passed the House by a strong 279-147. The bill directs the President to make a determination on proceeding with the Keystone XL Oil Pipeline to be built between Alberta, Canada and the United States no later than Nov. 1st, 2011. The President’s permission is required in this case because it is an international matter.

Three Republicans, Bass (NH-2), Fortenberry (NE-1), and Hayworth (NY-19) voted against the measure, while 47 Democrats joined the majority for its passage. The measure remains on the Senate Calendar.

July 16, 2011

House Passes Incandescent Light Bulb Bill in Surprising Tactic

Friday, while debating HR 2354, the energy and water appropriations bill, Rep. Michael Burgess (TX-26) proposed amendment 679 which prohibits the use of Federal funds to implement the existing statute which bans incandescent light bulbs in the near future. The amendment was passed on a voice vote.

As the amendment is in an appropriations bill, it cannot change statute law, but it can keep the law from being enforced. At some later time, there will be the need for the Congress to repeal the existing statute.

July 16, 2011

House Passes Water and Energy Appropriations for FY 2012

HR 2354, the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012, was passed by a narrow majority, 219-196. The bill essentially does not change appropriations for the Corps of Engineers, various waterway projects, and the Department of Energy from that appropriated in FY 2011, with only a slight decrease in spending on discrete projects.

Twenty-one Republicans voted against the measure, mostly on grounds that it did not cut spending significantly, while ten Democrats voted for the bill in support of their pet projects.

July 16, 2011

House Fails to Pass Ban of CFL Light Bulb Regulations

HR 2417, the Better Use of Light Bulbs Act, failed to pass in the House through a mistaken parliamentary maneuver. The bill basically says that no governmental entity in the United States can mandate a ban on incandescent light bulbs. The vote for suspending committee review and bringing the measure to the floor immediately required a 2/3 majority, which it failed to do, as only 233 members voted for it, with 193 voting against it. It is hoped that the measure will be brought up again in this session through the regular committee process and passed by a simple majority.

Rep. Bishop (UT-1) voted present, and ten Republicans voted against the bill: Bass (NH-2), Bilbray (CA-50), Garrett (NJ-5), Griffith (VA-9), Hanna (NY-24), Huelskamp (KS-1), Reed (NY-29), Reichert (WA-8), Rigell (VA-2), and Thompson (PA-5).


June 27, 2011

House Passes Restrictions on EPA Oversight of Offshore Drilling

By a vote of 253-166, the House passed HR 2021, the Jobs and Energy Permitting Act, which amends the Clean Air Act provisions related to air pollution emanating from offshore drilling rigs. At present, the EPA has the authority to measure and control emanations on site, but this bill requires that air quality measurements be conducted onshore, and that the EPA does not have the authority to consider permits for Outer Continental Shelf rigs.

Two Republicans, Jones (NC-3) and Duncan (TN-2), voted against the bill, and 23 Democrats joined the majority in its passage.

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